A family-run, neighbourhood Italian restaurant has been crowned London's best by review site TripAdvisor.
The 40-cover Trattoria Raffaele on Sydenham Road in south-east London has beaten Michelin-starred, big-name sites to the top spot after receiving excellent reviews.
The restaurant is co-owned by Sydenham-born Raffaele Giannandrea and his wife Emily Berryman. Raffaele's Italian father originally ran the restaurant for over 35 years until Raffaele took it over in 2008. The site has now received bookings from as far away as China and the USA, with many potential customers reportedly enquiring as to where exactly Sydenham is.
The venue makes its own bread, pizza dough and pasta, and serves traditional dishes such as sea bass, roast pork belly and veal. Its collection of top reviews called it "such a great restaurant", which "could not be better".
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Giannandrea said: "With Trip Advisor, everybody uses it, and every now and again we have a look and just gradually we got more and more good reviews until, there you go, number one. But there are a lot of good restaurants in London. We're very proud of what we do and we try and do the best we can."
US-based online review site TripAdvisor allows guests to post reviews of restaurants, monuments and other travel experiences, and is one of the most-used review sites on the web.
However, it is often criticised for its lack of transparency in how it collates its reviews, amid stories that many of its well-reviewed places do not even exist, and its reported vulnerability in allowing people to post malicious or false comments.
In July last year, another Italian restaurant made headlines, with "La Scaletta" topping the TripAdvisor rankings in Italy, despite the fact that it did not exist.
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